Hi Everybody, Frank here.
On occasion, I'll read a good book, something I find interesting, I'll set it down and never read it again. I guess for some folks that's just basic human nature. But, when I was a boy, especially a hard-headed one, it seems that I had to be reminded often the difference between right and wrong. Even though I knew what was right, I had to be reminded frequently, or at least that's what my father thought, anyway.
So, on occasion, I'm going to give you some re-posts. Understanding the basic human nature of most people, some would say, "I've already read that. I don't need to read it again." But, here it is, some good information about entry level equipment. I have to go back often and look up information that I have forgotten. But I'm getting older, and I don't try to prove to anyone, anymore, anything. And if you're new here, this will provide you with some entry level information about radio communication.
In a couple of days I'm going to post information about some newer type radios that I've run across lately. Things change. What was new six months ago, has now been replaced, not always with something better, just replaced. So, in a few days I'll be putting out a new post about good, solid, functional radio equipment that is new to me, and probably most of you.
Remember, cute and pretty means nothing to me. I look for functional, solid equipment that works, at the best price I can find. Because with the recent turn of events in our country, those dark clouds on the horizon get closer everyday. If you have a family group that lives within a few miles of each other, it wouldn't be a bad idea to pick up a couple of handheld radios so you could all communicate.
On some good news, though, I would like to share with you a recent comment I received.
"Hi Frank and Fern
You may not find anything inspiring to write about
today, but let me tell you....You two are very inspiring! Thank You for
your blog and all the effort you put into it. Because I read your blog
regularly, I showed my husband "Franks Radio Communications". Those
posts helped him a lot. He took the technicians test today and passed. Thank You for being here and giving us your insights and inspiration to learn." [11/22/14]
Getting your ham license can be very rewarding, it opens up numerous channels of communication, but it is not necessary for other forms of radio communications. I hope you enjoy this little review. Whichever avenue you choose to go, ham radio or not, communication is critical.
We'll talk more later. 73, Frank
Originally published December 8, 2013
Radio - Entry Level Equipment
Hello, Frank here.
Hi Everyone, hope everybody is well and happy. It's still cold and slippery here, but there is light at the end of the tunnel.
So you want to get started. If you've read the other posts, then you
know that there is no perfect radio. So, what I'm going to try to give
you here are some options to ponder and some items to look for in
whatever piece of equipment you choose. I'm going to start off with HF
radios. And very similar to my other posts about chickens or goats, I
can only share with you the experiences that I have had. Some folks want
to jump in with both feet, buy some high dollar equipment, and if
that's your cup of tea, please do so. I still learn something new on a
regular basis about ham radio. And I am very happy with the equipment
that I use. Please don't take this wrong, this is just for teaching
purposes, but if I wanted a more expensive radio, I would buy it. Yes,
finances are important to everyone, and I am by no means rich, wealthy
or well off. But, as a general rule, I'm in a position in life where if I
want or need something, then I will get it.
have a local man that I listen to on the VHF channels via a repeater.
He appears to be intelligent, financially successful, well educated,
articulate, he passed his Technician, General and Extra in a very short
period of time with no problems. His first HF piece of equipment was
what I would call a moderate, nice radio. Shortly thereafter, he bought a
nicer radio, and now he's talking about getting a top-of-the-line HF
rig. He has also gone through the same sequence with antennas. He
apparently has the financial means, and I am very happy for him. But I
think he could have made better choices along the way, because he talks
on the radio about the stuff that he has. And, again, this is fine. But
this is not where I personally am coming from. So, if you want to buy a
piece of equipment and tell everybody how much you spent, and this is
your general forte, then I may not be able to help you out. If you want
something that works, then I might be able to help you out.
So, let's go. Please go to the Universal Radio
website. Click on the left hand side on the online catalog button. We
are now at catalog contents. Let me make a statement here. I have bought
from Universal Radio and I probably will again in the future. They are
not the most expensive or the least expensive, but I really like their
site layout and they provide lots of data about the equipment they sell.
Now the top right hand column, click on amateur HF transceivers. You
will see Alinco, ICOM, Kenwood and Yaesu. Since the ICOM column is the
largest, let's start there. As a general rule, but not always, their
radios are listed from least expensive, going down, to most expensive.
But this is not always the case.
on the list, ICOM 718. This radio looks very familiar to me. Is is
perfect? No. Under features, on the left hand side, it has AM/SSB/CW
modes. What you don't see is FM. You also don't see an automatic tuner.
So, if you want to operate 10 meter FM, you can't do it with this radio.
If you want to look at a screen in front of you that tells you another
radio's signal strength, you can't do it. This is an entry level radio
that will do what most HF operators require. That is, basic
scroll down to the accessories. Second one on the list is AH-4. That is
an automatic antenna tuner. Great. But you can buy one from another
company for half the price that works better. LDG Electronics
makes a fine quality antenna tuner for about half the price and it
should be sold right here by Universal. We'll get to that in a minute.
They have other things going up and down there for other accessories.
For the most part you will not need any of these accessories.
I'm going to hit the back button. Next on the ICOM list is the IC-7000.
Okay, let's take a look at some of the features. This is a nice radio,
relatively inexpensive. So, play around in here. See if it has what
you want. You'll notice under features on the right hand side it says, 100 watts HF plus
meter. Underneath that it says, 50 watts 2 meter, 35 watts
440. 2 meter is VHF, 440 is UHF, but you know that, don't you? Okay, so
this radio will do VHF, UHF, and HF. It has AM and FM and you know that
because VHF and UHF are FM and most HF is AM. It doesn't say SSB? Well,
scroll down a little bit and you will see it in the written print a
couple of lines above accessories. This is a nice radio and if you're
one of those that's wants to buy one radio, take a look. But something
you can't do with this is listen to HF and VHF at the same time. Most of
the time that would take two separate radios.
click back to the HF page. So, let's pick out another ICOM, the
IC-7800. It only costs $10,500. This is not an entry level radio. If
this is your cup of tea and this is what you want to do, then go for it.
This will do more than most people will ever use in a lifetime. And if
you want to tell your friends, looky what I've got, this will do the
job. This radio is well, well out of my league. But it is pretty.
why don't you scan through them, play with them, look at the rest of
the ICOM's. A lot of people like Kenwoods. Let's look at the TS480. This
is also a nice radio. Many people like Kenwood, I guess it's like anything in
If your daddy drove a Ford pickup, there's a good chance you will drive
a Ford pickup. Remember that some people will argue to the end of the
world that one brand is better than the other. I would recommend you
find another crowd. These are all good radios. Just because somebody's
grandpa had another brand doesn't make it any better. But if that's what
you want, go for it. Please check out the Kenwoods.
on this little list are the Yaesu's. First is the FT-450D. If I were
not using my ICOM-718, this would be my second choice. Fairly easy to
use, has a built in antenna tuning system. It is a nice solid entry
level radio. If you read through the features, it offers what most
people need. I would give this radio a solid look. Yaesu offers some
interesting radios that most companies don't. Check out the 817, 857 and
897. These are in some way, a portable type radio. But also make sure
they have the desired power levels you want. Yaesu has other good solid
Please peruse through
these radios. Visit with your Elmer. If your Elmer is of the nature that
only one type brand of radio will work, get you a different Elmer with a
little bit more of an open mind.
let's go back up to the top of this HF list and check out the Alincos.
The DX-SR8T is your true entry level radio. But it will cover the entire
HF bands in all modes, has good power, does require an antenna tuner, and
gets pretty good reviews. Let me stress here that there are old salts
out there using entry level radios and have been for years and years.
The radio that they have meets their needs. I happen to be one of those.
I am relatively new to amateur radio, but I have found a radio that
meets my needs. I have no intention of switching. I can talk to people
anywhere, and I can listen to people anywhere. This is all I need.
Antennas. The proper antenna is unquestionably the most important piece
of equipment you can own. You can have a top-of-the-line HF radio, but
if you have a poor antenna, or a poor connection, or any part of the
delivery system is inadequate, then your top-of-the-line HF radio will
only function as well as the weakest link. Something to think about.
I went back to the online catalog page, I'm in the right hand column,
about halfway down you will see amateur base antennas. Click there. You
will see that the vast majority of these are vertical antennas. If this
is what you want, go for it. Go down to the brand name Gap. The
Challenger DX, please click there. This antenna is advertised from 80
meters to 2 meters. Good luck. Remember, an 80 meter antenna, okay 80
meters is about 240 feet. 2 meters is about 6 feet. I seriously have my
doubts about this antenna. But, go ahead and read the rest of them and
take a look at them. When you get finished let's go back to the catalog
Go down one more to amateur wire antennas. There are multiple different
types of antennas on this page. But they are all considered wire
antennas. This is one of those cases where you need to get together with
your Elmer and try to pick out something that will work for you. If you
do not have a large lot, or you live with housing restrictions, then
one of the earlier mentioned verticals may be your best bet. If you have
a little bit more space, some older Elmers can teach you some tricks
about wire antennas. Just for information purposes, I use the Alpha
Delta wire antennas. Remember there is no perfect antenna either.
on the list are beam antennas. For entry level, this may not be your
best choice, but if you want to start out with one, then please
investigate these. They are probably the best working antenna of all.
Being a beam means that they are directional. So, find you a comfortable Elmer and
this over with them. A man down the road from me has an Alpha Delta
DX-LB+ and he talks all over the world all of the time. Another man I
know, that lives about 50 miles away, also talks all over the world and
he uses a beam. Both of these guys are heavy into contesting and CW. So,
one person will tell you you've got to have a beam and another person
will tell you you have to have a dipole.
let's go back to the catalog contents page on the right hand side, go
down four or five spaces to amateur antenna tuners. Please click. There
are manual tuners and automatic tuners. There are tuners that are built
specifically for a specific radio. Some are after market tuners, like
LDG, or you see ICOM makes tuners. Check out the prices. I cannot
address MFJ tuners, I have bought other MFJ equipment, but as for
tuners, I only use LDG. If you're interested go into the LDG site and they will have a flow chart for which antenna tuner works with which radio.
cable. Coax cable depends on where you live, how long a cable you will
need, what frequencies you use and how much power you run. There is no
perfect cable. But things to consider. If you live in Washington state
the coast where it rains a lot, then you will have a different need
than someone living in the desert of Arizona. But use a good, new coax. I
recommend flexible. Use quality connectors and a proven sealant for
your area. And in radio, bigger is better. Yes, you pay more for higher
quality cable, and conversely speaking, you get more. This is one of
those cases where you don't try to save a couple of bucks. Don't use or
buy pre-owned cable. Use the best cable you can afford. And the best
connectors you can afford. A five dollar connector works a whole lot
better than a two dollar connector. And sealant is critical. Arizona and
Washington have sharply different climates for the most part. Don't buy
a $2,000 dollar radio, a $1,000 antenna system, and go cheap on coax.
It's just not worth it.
going to need a power supply. If you want to use that same catalog
contents page, scroll down a little over half way and it says power
supplies and power strips. You've learned there are two types of power
supplies, regulated and unregulated. Some people need a power supply
with more bells and whistles than others, and some people don't. I would
recommend a larger power supply than what you think you're going to
use. Remember, P = E x I. Never use
than 80% of the equipment's capability. So, you have a 100 watt radio.
100 divided by 13.8 will give you about 7. Which will be about 7 amps.
At the minimum, get a 10 amp power supply. But human nature dictates
that you're going to buy more pieces of equipment. So I would recommend
somewhere around a 30 amp power supply. Can't have too much power. So,
take a look around through these power supplies. Find something that
will fit your need. Some of these power supplies are made specifically
for specific radios. Like I said, look at them. Some of them will have
cigar plug connectors, most will have standard binding posts, newer
models will have power pole connectors (some, not all). So, take a look
at the Jet Stream JTPS28. This might meet your needs.
you're on the power supply page, scroll all the way to the bottom.
You'll see power strips here. Look at these and see if they interest
you. It makes hooking up multiple pieces of equipment a whole lot
easier. For instance look at the MJF1129. This power strip has binding
posts and power pole connectors. You ask, "What is a power pole
connector?" Go back to where you just were and right above MFJ or power
pole connectors, click on that site. These are real handy little
Okay, I'm going to ask you to do something a little different here now. Open a new window and go to PowerWerx. On the left hand side you will see
Anderson Power Poles. Please click here. Now click
on the left hand side, Anderson Power Pole and look at this page a
great deal. Look at the right hand side. It says frequently asked
questions. You just use these to connect your power cables. These are
standard connectors in the emergency rescue fields. This is something a
little bit new to you, but take a look at it.
you're on the page with Anderson Power Poles, you'll see 15 amp and 30
amp. Let's pick the first one, 15 amp, unassembled. Let's click on it.
down, it will give you a tremendous amount of information. The 15, 30,
and 40 amp connectors all use the same size housing. A little farther
down is a cutaway view. These connectors are really, really handy. When
you talk to your Elmer ask to visit somebody's shack that uses these and
you will see what I mean.
there are a few other little things you will need to set up your HF
radio. You'll need some way to get your antenna up in the air. You might
be interested in some type of lightening arrestor. But be advised,
nothing will stop lightening from coming into your shack. You need to
unplug your antennas.
going to get to VHF today. But coax requirements, power supplies, power
strips, power pole connectors and all of the data mentioned today will
apply to those also. This information is for entry level. It is not for
advanced amateur radio communications. There are a gazillion other
terms, satellite programs, RTTY, just many, many, many things. These
things will come with time. So, do you know what a 'lid' is? Ask your
thing. Safety. It is one thing to experiment, it is another thing to do
something dangerous and stupid. If you don't know what you're doing,
DON'T DO IT. It's one thing to have a one watt radio, and another thing
to have a 5000 watt radio. If you don't know what you're doing,
DON'T DO IT.
talk about VHF next time, and sorry about the weather delay. But I
would check out the power pole connectors. They are really cool.
We'll talk more later. 73, Frank
Originally published December 14th, 2013
Radio - Entry Level Equipment, Part 2
Hello, Frank here.
Everybody. I know some parts of the country are getting the bad weather
we got a week ago, and I hope there haven't been too many slip and
falls. The snow from our storms is just about gone. Something I didn't
mention last time is going outside everyday and checking my antennas.
Everything was okay.
little trivia here. Did you know that once you plant your first antenna
pole, through a miracle unknown and understood by man, more antenna
poles will grow? Some houses actually look like an antenna farm. So, be
ready. The tooth fairy brings them too. They just show up in the
Let's talk about VHF radios. But first I'm going to group a whole bunch
of frequencies and meters together. Last time I talked about HF radios
primarily. There are some HF radios that have VHF and UHF. I
there are designated frequencies for VHF and UHF, but in the general
conversation of radio, everything above 10 meter is either UHF or VHF.
It starts with 6 meters, 2 meters and keeps going up. Everything today
that I am going to talk about, I'm going to call VHF. The reason for
that is that most of the equipment you are going to use are going to be
similar and the characteristics of the frequencies are similar.
last post, we talked some about power supplies, coax cable, power
strips, power pole connectors and antenna tuners. Most of that equipment
you will also use with the VHF radios. Power supplies for example, if you
a simple operating system, then one power supply is all you need.
Remember back when we first started talking about buying a bigger power supply
than you needed to get started? Well, this is the reason why. More
equipment needs more power. To operate a 50 watt VHF radio you can
theoretically get by with 5 amps. To operate your 100 watt HF, you can
theoretically get by with 7 or 8 amps. You can see where this is going.
You can also recharge all of your rechargeable batteries, normally, from
a 12 volt system. You can also charge your cell phones and operate your
internet hot spot. There are all kinds of things you can do with a 12
volt system. Now remember when I say a 12 volt system that also means
13.8 VDC. So, 25 to 35 amps is a nice size power supply. Don't forget
your CB radio and your scanners and your weather radio, not to mention
you can recharge your rechargeable lanterns if they have a 12 volt
recharging system. I even have a 12 volt boot dryer and a 12 volt
chicken incubator. Okay. I'll get back to radios here now.
most of your connectors, coax, safety equipment and grounding all use
the same equipment. Something that will be different is your antenna.
Most VHF is done with a vertically polarized antenna, which means up
and down. Most
HF uses a horizontally polarized antenna. Not all, but most. Because
with HF you are normally bouncing off of the ionosphere so it doesn't
make that big of a difference whether it is horizontal or vertical. But
with VHF it does make a difference. Remember, VHF is primarily line of
sight and the sending and receiving stations need to have matching
polarity. Most VHF that goes long distance is through a repeater. The
vast majority of repeaters are vertical. Does this mean that you can't
communicate with a station with opposite polarity? You can, but your
sound will be distorted.
So. Another big difference between VHF and HF. Let's take 40 meters HF
for example. 40 meters is about 120 feet. That's a pretty long antenna
even if you use half wave it's still about 60 feet. It's a whole lot
easier to run 60 feet horizontal than it is vertical.
about it. Let's go back to VHF. You have a 2 meter signal, which is
144-148 MHz in the ham band. That's about 6 feet. A half wave signal is
about 3 feet. A quarter wave signal is about 18 inches. Vertical is a
whole lot easier, because you can't put a 60 foot vertical antenna on
your car. Okay, people will say, "But I know guys that run HF in their
cars and they don't have a 60 foot antenna." That is correct. Without
going into detail, they use electronic gizmos to trick mother nature.
But as a general rule, mobile HF operates poorly, especially on the
I'm going to throw
in safety right here. Never mess with safety. Don't try to over power a
radio unless you know what you are doing. I'm not saying don't do it.
But don't do it if you don't know what you're doing.
Okay. Let's go to the Universal Radio
website. I will say it again. I have no commercial affiliation with
Universal Radio. They are not the cheapest or the most expensive, but
their website is filled with easy to access information. I do use these
folks and I do buy from these folks and I am relatively sure I will buy
from them in the future.
we're at the Universal Radio website. Please click the online catalog
button. We are now at catalog contents. I hope this page looks familiar.
There is lots of information here. Please look around, play around.
Let's go to the right hand column, Amateur VHF/UHF Mobile. By the way,
you will not need an antenna tuner for VHF. Okay, we're there. You'll
see some of the major names. Everybody here makes a capable, competent
radio. Most of these are made exclusively for ham radio, a few of them
are not. You need to do some research in the area in which you live.
There is no reason to get a UHF radio if no one in your area uses UHF.
Example: In my area there is not a 10 meter repeater. It does not exist.
So, therefore, I do not need a piece of equipment that will reach a 10
meter repeater. So what I'm going to focus on is the most common
combination which is UHF/VHF. When you're reading the data on some of
these radios it will just use the letters 'U' and 'V', which means the
radio might be capable of operating on two channels at one time. The
combination could be U/U, V/V, U/V or V/U. But remember, if no one in
your area uses UHF, then why waste the money? But, if your radio does
have two channels and it's V/V capable, then you can listen to two VHF
frequencies at the same time. Food for thought.
Alrighty. Let's go down and pick the Kenwood TM-V71A. This is a very
popular radio. It has most features that most folks look for in a dual
receive radio. I would certainly take a look at this one. It is a radio
that is easy to modify. I'll talk more about that shortly. My first
VHF/UHF was this radio. Being my first, there was a lot I needed to
learn, and I found this radio to be too complicated for my needs. That
does not mean it is not a first class radio.
I traded it for a new Alinco DR-635T. Go back to the VHF radio page and
Alinco is at the top, the 635 is at the bottom. Please open it. The
first thing you could notice is that it costs less. About $60.00 less
with this company. It will not do a few things that the Kenwood will do,
but it will do everything that I need it to do. It is a perfectly
capable VHF/UHF ham radio. It's easier for me to operate. If you've been
reading my posts for a while, then you know that my wife and I both
have our General licenses. To operate this radio, you need to be a
Technician. My wife got her ham radio license mostly just to make me
happy. Radio is important to her because it is important to me. She
needs a radio that she can turn on, change the channel, push the
microphone button and talk. She does not care about beaming a signal
of a comet. This is what is in her car. It works. This is what is in my
vehicle. It works. And this is what is in my house, because it's easier
for me to learn one radio than two or three other radios. With this
635T I use the RT programming system, which is computer based. Some
people would say that you need to know how to field program it. Okay,
that means that they need to know how to field program it. I need to be
able to turn it on, change the channel, push the microphone button and
talk. I could care less about bouncing a signal off of a comet.
I'm going to take a slight detour here, I'll get back to
these radios in a minute. What does it mean to modify a radio? To some
people it means more power, to others they want to add a system, one is
called EchoLink, and there are multiple other things that you can do
with these radios. But the word modification to most people means to
expand the transmit range out of the ham frequencies. This radio right there, the Alinco, second
under the picture says, "Receive coverage 108-173 MHz". It says,
"transmit frequency 144-148 MHz" which are the ham bands within the VHF
spectrum. Okay. Follow me here. You can modify this radio to transmit on
the same frequencies that it is currently set to receive on. The same
for UHF also. If you modify it, if you could receive those frequencies
before, you can now transmit on those frequencies. Well, why would
anybody want to do that? Well, there are the MURS frequencies around 151
MHz. There are the GMRS frequencies around 465 MHz. If you're into
public service, there are police, fire and EMS which also uses these
frequencies. Be advised, to modify this radio to operate out of the ham
frequencies violates FCC regulations. But there are some police and fire
departments that do just that because these radios are much cheaper
than commercial radios from name brand manufacturers. If you have the
chance, go back and read under Frank's Radio Communications the GMRS and MURS post.
also understand that one antenna normally will not work well on all of
these frequencies. It will either be too short or too long and your SWR will
increase. But there is an antenna that is made by
Comet. It is CA-2x4SR. If you'll go back to the catalog contents page
on the right hand side down about nine spaces is Amateur Mobile
Antennas. Please click. Under Comet, about four down, is the CA-2x4SR.
Please click. This antenna comes in two base types. Pay attention here.
This antenna can also be used for a base station antenna for frequencies
out of the ham band, also frequencies in the ham band. While we're
here, go down two more places under Comet and check out the M24. This is
a real good little 2 meter antenna. It will also work out of band, but
not great. And it comes with three different connectors. Again, pay
Okay, back to VHF/UHF mobile. Look at the Anytone
AT-5888UV. This is what is called a commercial radio. When it comes to
you it will be open and have almost all VHF/UHF frequencies. These type radios can be used in
the commercial service industries which includes police, fire, EMS,
schools, railroads, power companies and they can also be used legally
for the ham bands. So why not buy one of these? There is no need to
modify. It can be used on MURS and GMRS. I guess the primary reason is a
quality issue. Some folks say these radios just don't hold up. I know
people that have them and they like them. If they had been out for a few
more years, and some of their early quality issues had been resolved,
then I would look seriously at using these radios. As far as handhelds
go, I do use a commercial radio. They have been out for a good while and
they have worked the bugs out.
go back to the VHF radio page and go all the way to the bottom to
Wouxun. Please click on their radio, there is only one. This is another
commercial radio and it gets mixed reviews. Notice the bottom line, the
warranty is from the factory in China. There are no state side service
facilities. If it quits working on you, you have to send it back to
China. That's one of the reasons people would rather buy a ham radio and
make a modification.
The Alinco DR-635T. To modify it, you remove four screws,
take off the cover, locate the blue wire, which you can't miss, cut the
wire, and you now
have a modified radio. Is it illegal to own a to
operate out of band? Yes. Are there thousands and thousands of modified
VHF radios in this country? Yes. An example here. Your little handheld
GMRS radio, which in most cases are excellent radios, operate around 465
MHz. You program these frequencies into your modified radio, you turn
your power down on the radio and no one on the planet will know that you
are talking on anything but a handheld GMRS radio. By the way, you need
a license to operate on GMRS frequencies. I have never met a person on
this planet that has one. You can buy the handheld GMRS radios at any
sporting good stores, Wal-Mart, online and it's up to you to apply for
the license. When you get the license, anyone in your family or anyone
at your house or vicinity can operate under that license. That means you
do not have to have it on you to operate these radios. Go back and read
the post about GMRS radios. What I'm saying here is you can have a nice
ham radio that will also operate on other frequencies. It's your
There are many, many other mobile VHF radios on this
page. Check them out. Some companies will not sell ham radios to someone
without a call sign. So be aware of that. Some companies will, some
You need an Elmer. That's ham language for a teacher. You can find one through the ARRL website.
If your Elmer is not open to ideas of modifying radios, asks for a
different Elmer. Some of these ham guys are hard core ham radio people,
others are just folks that love ham radio, but they don't mind cutting a
wire here and there. I'd guess the numbers are about 50/50. But,
generally speaking, a standard antenna, be it mobile or base station
with standard coax and a standard power supply and about any VHF radio
will get you on the air. Don't forget safety. I'm finished.
Another topic. I am of a firm belief that our world is going to experience some type of event that is going to shut down normal life as we know it.
entire purpose for this blog site is to help people get prepared. If
these radio posts help you learn to communicate just a little bit
better, then it has been worth my time and effort. To me, communication
is critical. Whether you're a listener or you want to communicate what
you have heard to your little area of the country. Who knows, maybe even
talking to your neighbors on the GMRS frequencies. Communications is
important. A small radio, with a small antenna, with an automotive
battery, a power supply, a small solar panel and a gizmo
a charge controller, you can operate a shortwave radio on 12 volts.
This will bring you your local news and news from around the world. A
scanner can tell you what local police and fire are doing. That same
scanner will also pick up weather and Coast Guard. That same solar panel
battery will also power a CB radio, a VHF/UHF radio for ham
communications, and MURS and GMRS. It will also power your HF radio
where you can talk and listen
around the world. Imagine
that. Something like a 20 watt solar panel, a small charge controller,
an automotive type battery, a scanner, an HF radio which you can also
use for shortwave listening, and a modified VHF/UHF radio and you can
listen to the world, talk to the world and also communicate with your
local buddies. Don't forget the humble CB radio.
And you can recharge your rechargeable batteries. Give it some thought.
Hard times are coming. And if you want to be able to communicate, it is
relatively simple. Time is running out.
We'll talk more later. 73, Frank